Over the past few decades, American university towns have played a “mainstay” role in the economic development of some regions. Backed by a huge student consumer, the “willful” university town economic ecology is rarely affected by market fluctuations. Today, a new crown epidemic that ravages the world has completely broken this economic pattern. With the large-scale departure of students, university cities have become the country’s “most depressed” places.
Located in Boston, Massachusetts, the city of Boston is known as “Dr. Tun” because of the gathering of famous schools. Early in the outbreak of the New Crown epidemic, the university city was deserted. It is understood that the total number of college students in Boston exceeds 100,000, accounting for 1/7 of the city’s total population. Like many seniors, Boston University senior Mamurri complained about the graduation season, and lamented the upheaval in the university city: “Most restaurants on the nearby commercial street are closed.” University of Blacksburg, Virginia, USA It is also extremely deserted. The daily commuting scale of public transportation is only three or four hundred people. In the past, this number could exceed 20,000.
According to the US “Higher Education Chronicle”, the “Desolate University City” scene is more obvious in the small city of Ithaca, New York: the city sits with the American “vine school” Cornell University and the old private school Ithaca College, The proportion of students accounts for 50% of the city’s total population. After the epidemic struck, up to tens of thousands of students from the two universities collectively “run away”, many of whom may not return. This situation makes the city’s 10-year census almost impossible. A similar situation is also evident in Philadelphia: in the university city area of the city, the response rate of the student census is only 41%, far lower than the 63.5% 10 years ago. It is understood that the US census work is closely related to the federal government funding. The large-scale “redundancy” of students will inevitably affect the research funding of colleges and universities, as well as the local community’s public safety, transportation, economic subsidies and other grants.
The New York Times said that higher education has always been one of the most stable areas in the US economy and employment system. There are about 3 million employees in this field, and it contributed more than $600 billion to the country’s GDP in the 2017-2018 academic year. . A university city has a large and active consumer group. Its existence can ensure that the campus is protected from the ups and downs of the general market and form a stable economic ecosystem. Take the University City of Blacksburg as an example. With the help of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute in the city alone, it can provoke half of the local economy and create an economic value of US$1.2 billion per year. In the local job market, on average, every two jobs One is related to the institution.
During the epidemic, many university towns have already experienced obvious “fiscal austerity”. In the University City of East Lansing, Michigan, Joanna said that her business has shrunk by as much as 85% recently. In the University City of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the revenue of local small businesses at the beginning of this month fell more than 20% from the beginning of this year, and the decline far exceeded the state average. The “big boss” Braus, who runs a variety of businesses in restaurants, hotels and other businesses in the University City of Ithaca, said that his company’s 330 employees now have only more than 100 people left.
Many university cities in the United States have to host some well-known college sports events in the United States over the years, and the most popular one is the rugby league. In the University City of Lincoln City, Nebraska, college football matches can directly create an economic value of $5.2 million for Lincoln City. The revenue from hosting a season locally can exceed $31 million. In Blacksburg, rugby events each fall can attract up to 400,000 to 500,000 spectators. Once the season is reimbursed, the university city will suffer business losses such as tickets, souvenirs, meals, drinks and accommodation, and directly affect the local fiscal revenue. In addition to economic benefits, many students and residents of university towns regard sporting events as an indispensable “social ceremony” and even “cultural heritage.” Some fans said that such a life experience cannot be replaced.
In the “New Crown Virus Aid to Relieve Economic Security Act” passed by the United States at the end of March, a special fund of US$14 billion was used to alleviate the “urgent urgency” of colleges and universities across the United States. Regrettably, the country has not provided special assistance at the legislative level to the dilemma faced by the university city. At the local level, the “University City in Crisis” network seminar initiated by the International Association of Cities and Universities (ITGA) has received close attention from all parties. “Mutual assistance groups” have been formed on both sides of the campus and the community to provide loans, Solve issues such as material security.
As of 28th, the cumulative number of newly diagnosed cases of New Coronary Pneumonia in the United States has reached 2.51 million cases and 125,000 deaths. As a campus with a high concentration of young people and frequent group activities, University City is also a high-risk place where outbreaks are most likely to occur. Perhaps as Bloomberg said, the American university city system is now suffering “all-round blows”, and its golden age may be nearing its end.